Etymology
Advertisement
in situ 
1740, Latin, literally "in its (original) place or position," from ablative of situs "site" (see site (n.)).
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
boob tube (n.)
"television set," U.S. slang, by 1965, from boob "stupid person" + slang tube (n.) "television, television programming;" the original sets had vacuum tubes in them.
Related entries & more 
Tin Pan Alley (n.)
"hit song writing business," 1907, from tin pan, slang for "a decrepit piano" (1882). The original one was "that little section of Twenty-eighth Street, Manhattan, that lies between Broadway and Sixth Avenue," home to many music publishing houses.
Related entries & more 
ad valorem 
type of customs duties based on the market value of goods at the original place of shipment, 1711, Modern Latin, "(in proportion) to the value," from ad "to" (see ad-) + Late Latin valorem, accusative of valor "value" (see value (n.)). Sometimes abbreviated ad val.
Related entries & more 
cold feet (n.)

1893, American English, in the figurative sense "fear or doubt that reverses an intention to do something;" the presumed Italian original (avegh minga frecc i pee) is a Lombard proverb meaning "to have no money," but some of the earliest English usages refer to gamblers, so a connection is possible.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
mumbo jumbo (n.)
1738, name of an idol supposedly worshipped by certain tribes in Africa; said to be a corruption of words in Mandingo (one reconstructed version is Mama Dyumbo), but no likely source has been found in the languages of the Niger region, to which the original accounts relate. Meaning "big, empty talk" is attested from 1896.
Related entries & more 
stock market (n.)
"place where securities are bought and sold," 1809, from stock (n.2) + market. The original Stock Market (mid-14c.) was a fish and meat market in the City of London on or near the later site of Mansion House, so called perhaps because it occupied the site of a former stocks. Stock exchange is attested from 1773.
Related entries & more 
Cadmean victory (n.)

c. 1600, "victory involving one's own ruin," translating Greek Kadmeia nikē, from Cadmus (Greek Kadmos), legendary hero-founder of Thebes in Boeotia and bringer of the original sixteen-letter alphabet to Greece. Probably a reference to the story of Cadmus and the "Sown-Men," who fought each other till only a handful were left alive. Compare Pyrrhic (adj.1).

Related entries & more 
Yankee Doodle (n.)
popular tune of the American Revolution, apparently written c. 1755 by British Army surgeon Dr. Richard Schuckburgh while campaigning with Amherst's force in upper New York during the French and Indian War. The original verses mocked the colonial troops (see Yankee) serving alongside the regulars, and the Doodle element might have been, or hinted at, the 18c. slang term for "penis." The song naturally was popular with British troops in the colonies during the Revolutionary War, but after the colonials began to win skirmishes with them in 1775, they took the tune as a patriotic prize and re-worked the lyrics. The current version seems to have been written in 1776 by Edward Bangs, a Harvard sophomore who also was a Minuteman.
Related entries & more 
main line (n.)

"principal line of a railway," 1841, from main (adj.) + line (n.). Meaning "affluent area of residence" is by 1917, originally (with capitals) that west of Philadelphia, from the "main line" of the Pennsylvania Railroad which added local stops to a string of backwater towns west of the city late 19c. that helped turn them into fashionable suburbs.

The Main Line, Philadelphia's most famous suburban district, was deliberately conceived in the 1870's and 1880's by the [Pennsylvania] Railroad, which built high-toned housing developments, ran hotels, more or less forced its executives to plunk their estates out there, and created a whole series of somewhat spurious Welsh towns along the railroad tracks. ... Now everybody assumes these all date from 1682, like the Robertses; but as Chestnut Hill people like to say, "nobody but Welsh peasants lived on the Main Line till the Railroad built it up." [Nathaniel Burt, "The Perennial Philadelphians," 1963]

The original station stops were, in order out from the city, Overbrook, Merion, Narberth, Wynnewood, Ardmore, Haverford, Bryn Mawr, Paoli. The train line for commuters along it is the Paoli Local.

Related entries & more